The mindset of public towards the gender roles in sports
Based on the findings in Chapter 4, the mindset of public in Kuala Lumpur towards the gender roles in sports is more open-minded in general. This means that the public in Kuala Lumpur believed that sports are not only males’ roles but it could be belonged to females too. However, there is only Gunther et al.’s (2011) study to support that the mindset of the public towards gender roles in sports is generally open-minded.
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From the findings, it is shown that the mindset of public disagreed that females are less knowledgeable and less competitive in sports as compare to males. This is supported by the study of Gunther et al. (2011), whereby the results shown that the public do not agree that females are less knowledgeable than males in sports. However, the findings of this study is contrasted by the study by Short (2012), in which it was mentioned that female sports broadcasters were seen as less competent and less knowledgeable in sports which showed contrast with the results of this study. In an interview, Kremer (2011) also mentioned that public often criticized that women do not know about sports, which also contradicted with the findings of this study.
Although the mindset of public in Kuala Lumpur is open-minded, they believed males are the dominants and males are stronger in sports. This is supported by the outcome in the study of Centre for Gender Equality in Iceland (2006), which has clearly stated that sports have practically predominated by males or to say the attention is traditionally focused on males. Besides, the public in Kuala Lumpur also agreed that females show less interest in sports as compared to males. It is supported by the statement in Shine’s (2013) article where women are perceived as not interested and do not have the skills in sports. This could be because gender discrimination in sports has not been eliminated, which caused females not reaching a certain status in the public’s eye.
In sum, the knowledge and the competency level of females in sports are not criticized in terms of their sex; however, males are still perceived as stronger and the dominants in sports.
The reasons of males dominate in sports profession
As the public perceived males are the dominants in sports profession, some reasons have been find out in this research. Based on the findings in this research, the reason of males dominates in sports profession is highly because males are biologically stronger than females. This is supported by the study conducted by Paulas (2013) where males are biologically stronger because of the structure of their body which differs from women. The research by Centre for Gender Equality in Iceland (2006) stated that biological nature is part of the consideration for males and females in participating sports. As sports emphasize a lot on physical strengths, females might be physically incompetent to participate in some sports because they are weak in strength. Toro and Sargent (2013) also concluded that males have the muscularity and superiority in sports because they run faster and jump faster than females. Males are overall more superior in sports.
The public in Kuala Lumpur think that traditional gender roles are another major reason which leads to domination of males in sports profession. McMahon (2011) had given a statement that the nature of sports is masculine which is hardly related to feminine. Thus, this could be the reason that the public in Kuala Lumpur perceived sports as males’ gender roles. According to the research by Centre for Gender Equality in Iceland (2006), males have traditionally practiced to predominant in sports while females are not.
In contrast, the public in Kuala Lumpur showed very slightly disagreed-to-neutral that sports show masculinity is the reason of males dominate in sports profession. According to Wilde’s study in 2007, sports are traditionally associated with males, masculinity and mainly dominated by the males. In the eyes of the public in Kuala Lumpur, sports maybe show masculinity, but that is not really a reason of why males dominate in sports profession.
Moreover, the public in Kuala Lumpur does not perceive males as more superior in sports. In other words, both females and males are equal in sports. In the study of Paulas (2013), an argument has been raised up by saying that men are better than women in playing sports, which relates to the inherent biological features. However, females can be as skillful as males do because one’s skillfulness is related to how much instruction has taught to one in playing sports. In Grahame’s (2012) article also mentioned that, the biological differences in males’ body have made them more superior in most of the sports which differs from the opinion of the public in Kuala Lumpur.
Besides, the public in Kuala Lumpur disagreed that the reason of males dominating in sports profession is because females are discourage to play sports. It is supported by Swanson (2009) where more females are encouraged to play sports after the enactment of Title IX in 1972 as compared to the past. 2012 Olympic Games, the women athletes have almost equal number as men and the ratio for athletes now is 50:50 male-female ratios (Gee, 2013). As Olympic Games is a worldwide sports, this could mean that females nowadays are encouraged to play sports universally.
Furthermore, sports are not mainly designed for males in the view of the public in Kuala Lumpur. However, in the study by Paulas (2013), he found out that sports were designed for men at the first place. Sports such as basketball, football and baseball were created during the era where women were expected to stay in the kitchen and take care of the family. Sports were designed particularly based on males’ strengths and advantages where females can hardly beat males.
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As for most, the public in Kuala Lumpur do not believe that females are not competent in sports is the reason which caused males dominate in sports profession. Baiocchi-Wagner and Behm-Morawitz (2010) cited in their study that the public might be wrongly accused that females are less competent than males because males are better in playing sports. Also, Short (2012) also mentioned that women were seen as weak and less competent as compare to men which is not proven to be the truth. As nowadays more and more females started to step into sports profession, in which has proven that they are competent to compete with males in sports.
Based on the open-ended data provided, the public perceived males are the dominant in sports because it is men’s interest. They are more passionate, enthusiast and willing to contribute their time in playing sports. In contrast, females do not like sports because they do not like to be exposed to the sun and sports are dirty and sweaty for them. In previous studies, it is shown that males show higher interest in participating, watching, and excelling in sports (Deaner et al., 2012). It concludes that males are more motivated to involve sports related activities which lead to the dominance of males in sports.
An interesting reason that is concluded in the findings of this research is social and media influence. The preference of the social and media plays an important role in influencing the dominance of males in sports profession. The media coverage is more likely to focus on men’s sports than women’s sports. According to the study by Centre for Gender Equality in Iceland (2006), women’s sports are often treated as less important than men’s sports in media coverage. As a result, the public is able to be exposed to men’s sports more than women’s sports and to see males in sports has become a social expectation. In the study by Deaner et al. (2012) it was stated that sports interest is influenced by the societal gender roles, peers pressure, parents and so on. Thus, males will be more interested in participating sports while females have the social pressure to eschew sports.
In the opinion of the public in Kuala Lumpur, education and parents’ influence also could be a reason of why males dominate in sports profession. As in the report by Garner (2012) stated that girls were being put off in Physical Education (PE) lesson because they have negative experience in participating PE such as being labeled as tomboy or unfeminine. Wetton et al. (2013) mentioned that the schools that favored boys’ sports activities have discourage girls’ attendance in participating sports. Other than that, parents do hold an important role in encouraging their children to involve in sports (Quinton, 2013). In the study by Wetton et al. (2013), the family background of the children and stereotypical view of parents do influenced children’s decision to not take part in sports. As the traditional mindset of gender roles in sports, parents might be more supportive for their sons to participate in sports but not for their daughters. Thus, there are more males involving themselves in sports than females due to the education and parents’ influence, in which has caused the dominance of males in sports profession.
The level of opportunity of females to become sports broadcasters
As concluded from the total scores of the level of opportunity for females to become sports broadcasters, the public in Kuala Lumpur believed that females have slightly high opportunity to become sports broadcasters. This has supported by Shine (2013) by saying that some organizations have started to hire talented female sports broadcasters because females can bring aspiring changes in sports broadcasting field.
The public in Kuala Lumpur think that the opportunity is now given to females and females should be given equal opportunity to become sports broadcasters as males do. However, in the studies of Gunther et al. (2011) and Short (2012) showed that there are still inequalities in sports broadcasting field and this industry is lagging in creating equal opportunities for both males and females in becoming sports broadcasters. Although both of these studies are carried out in United States and England, but the public in Kuala Lumpur might be influenced by these leading countries.
Besides, from the findings, it is shown that the public in Kuala Lumpur agreed that the opportunity for females on becoming sports broadcasters should be based on qualifications and skills rather than physical appearance. However, in the study of Gunther et al. (2011) found out that many stations are hiring attractive women regardless of their qualifications and skills just simply to retain their broadcasting license.
The public acceptance of female sports broadcasters
Moreover, this study has found out that the level of public acceptance of female sports broadcasters in Kuala Lumpur is high. The public did not particularly favored female or male sports broadcasters because they believed professionalism and knowledge of a sports broadcaster are important than one’s gender. Even for those major sports or male-dominated sports such as basketball and football, they do not think that only male sports broadcasters are good in reporting it. However, it is not supported by Shine (2013), where stated in her research that even though females are knowledgeable in male-dominated sports, the public will perceive females as do not have the skills to cover male-dominated sports. As in the study by Baiocchi-Wagner and Behm-Morawitz (2010) stated that women need to prove themselves twice to the public that they are worth as sports broadcasters. This has reflected that the acceptance of female in sports broadcasting field is very low.
Many of the researchers have found out that the acceptance of female sports broadcasters were remaining low which contradict with this study. According to Futterman (2011), it has taken a long time for female sports broadcasters to be only partially accepted by the public. As long as gender discrimination and harassment still occurred, the acceptance of female in sports broadcasting will still low (Ebel, 2012). As time goes by, the difficulties or barriers for females have reduced, but the perception of the public on female sports broadcasters is stubbornly unchanged (Starphoenix, 2008).
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